The supervisors heard a staff update about the potential of reopening the fitness center. The likihod of such an operation being self-sufficient is highly improbable.
The county operated the center from 2008-2010. In the first year the county made just short of $10,000. It made less money each year. Members were three month intervals for $40.
To reopen it, it would cost $9,400 a year for staff and $2,400 to maintain the current, old and mismatched equipment per year. It is estimated it would cost another $10,000 to make the facility itself presentable again.
“If we can’t fund the schools, how can we do this?” asked Joe Chesser (Rivanna District) to the board. There wasn’t much disagreement except a hope the facility could be self-sufficient.
Bob Ullenbruch (Palmyra District) also cautioned about government competing with three privately owned fitness facilities in the county and one in Buckingham.
“If you can find a way to make it pay for itself (it would be worth it),” said Mozell Booker (Fork Union District).
To make it pay for itself with the current equipment and adding part-time staff to supervisor the operation, it would require 295 three-month memberships just to break even. In the previous operation of the center, the county sold over 150 three-month memberships once. The last year less than 100 three-month memberships were sold.
The one thing the county can offer that other businesses cannot is a gymnasium.
Jason Smith, director of parks and recreation, was told by the board if he could find a way to make it work, bring it back for discussion but not to make it a priority at this time.